40% of Small Businesses to Trade Overseas in 2011

40% of Small Businesses to Trade Overseas in 2011Four out of ten small businesses are planning to trade overseas next year, research from O2 has revealed.

The survey of 500 business owners in November 2010 found that 40 per cent were looking to trade abroad for reasons including better prospects for growth in foreign markets, a lack of UK customers and the weak value of sterling.

O2 spokeswoman, Daisy Swan, said that the figures included firms that would sell to overseas customers through their websites.

“Many of these firms will stay in the UK but utilise their contacts online to take opportunities abroad, due to advances in technology,” she said. “They don’t necessarily have to have a base out there.”

John Lucas, trade policy adviser for the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), agreed that more small businesses would be looking overseas in 2011.

“Although the pound has been relatively low for two years it is now combined with increasing global demand. However, demand in the rest of Europe is also sluggish so it’s best to consider markets outside of the EU where growth is not so slow.”

The research highlighted that six out of ten markets where small firms planned to trade internationally were outside the EU ? the most popular being the US, Australia and Brazil.

“There are overseas opportunities for businesses in many sectors. It’s easy to forget that services can also be exported — for example, marketing and creative consultancies. The UK has a lot of expertise in these areas.”

For practical business advice articles read about Exporting, Researching your Export Markets, First Steps to Exporting and Export Finance..

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